The Top 20 Music Moments of 2011

 

August 8 // 'Watch The Throne' Beats The Leak

In 2011, album leaks were a frustrating normality for artists -- especially superstars, like Jay-Z and Kanye West. But "Watch The Throne," the rappers' collaborative album, somehow passed through months of anticipation and multiple listening sessions (including one at the planetarium at New York's American Museum of Natural History) before emerging unleaked on its release date. Critical adoration, a No. 1 debut and arena tour soon followed for the hip-hop BFFs.

August 13 // Stage Collapses at Indiana State Fair

Powerful gusts of wind brought down the stage rigging at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis, resulting in seven deaths and more than 40 injuries during a concert that was only moments away from featuring the Country act Sugarland. The stage collapse, which happened about 30 minutes after "Love Song" singer Sara Bareilles finished her opening set, was caught on tape in dramatic and terrifying video. An investigation into why the stage failed is ongoing, and several lawsuits -- targeting the state of Indiana and Sugarland, among others -- are in the works.

August 17 // Katy Perry Makes Hot 100 History

It almost didn't happen. But thanks to one last push with a remix featuring Missy Elliott, Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" topped the Hot 100, making it the fifth single from "Teenage Dream" to reach No. 1. Perry is the first woman and second artist overall, following Michael Jackson, to hit this marker. "Ever since I was 9 years old, singing into my hairbrush, I've dreamed very big dreams, but today is bigger than my dreams," Perry told Billboard.

  NEXT: Beyonce Baby, Odd Future Is Now, RIP Steve